Sampdoria intensified the Roma crisis with a surprise 1-0 victory, as Emiliano Viviano saved Alessandro Florenzi’s penalty before a Duvan Zapata winner.
These sides drew 1-1 at Marassi midweek in their rescheduled Week 3 tie, which was called off in September due to weather warnings. Edin Dzeko got a late equaliser there and he started again this evening, despite on-going Chelsea transfer talks. Patrik Schick, Maxime Gonalons and Rick Karsdorp were out of action, with Diego Perotti and Daniele De Rossi not fully fit, but Stephan El Shaarawy returned. Samp had top scorer Fabio Quagliarella only ready for the bench with a muscular issue, missing Dennis Praet for several weeks.
Gianluca Caprari’s curler skimmed the woodwork in the opening minutes, then Duvan Zapata got in front of Juan Jesus, but only scuffed the finish from six yards.
Alisson pushed a Gaston Ramirez cross-shot over the bar, then on the resulting corner flew to fingertip an Edgar Barreto low volley round the post from the edge of the box. Nicola Murru smashed an effort across the face of goal just beyond Duvan Zapata, while another from the Colombian was kept out at the near post by Alisson’s foot.
The Samp siege was broken by Kostas Manolas firing in from a corner, but the defender was caught offside.
Roma received a penalty when Cengiz Under saw his shot charged down by a Bereszynski arm. Florenzi took the penalty, which was too central and at a good height for a spot-kick specialist like Emiliano Viviano, who stuck up one strong arm to parry.
Moments later, Viviano used his legs to beat away a Stephan El Shaarawy volley at the near post.
Sampdoria thought they’d scored on the counter with Caprari, but Alisson performed an amazing double save, the first with the underside of his thigh, then scrambling back up to bat away the rebound from point-blank range.
Viviano decided to go one better straight after the restart, parrying a Cengiz Under volley from point-blank range with his face, an interception that understandably left him rather dazed. The goalkeeper got down to beat away an Aleksandar Kolarov daisy-cutter, and then Lorenzo Pellegrini’s volley on an El Shaarawy cross.
Pellegrini surged forward and rolled it back for Dzeko, who horribly scuffed straight at Viviano from 12 yards.
The deadlock was eventually broken after this masterclass in goalkeeping, as Nicola Murru rolled a ball across the six-yard box and Duvan Zapata snuck up behind Juan Jesus to tap in.
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Saved penalty: Florenzi 39 (R)